Money and Politics

Corruption is rampant in American politics. While it’s not as bad as governments like, say, Syria, it’s definitely not something to be be proud of. It’s consumed by money and greed. It’s over-run with political handouts and favors. One person is gaining at the expense of someone else’s loss (mostly the tax payer). It’s a sad, sad truth: it’s aiding the erosion of our once proud political system. Is it the end of the world that our politicians are bought and sold? No. They’ll still pretend to care about the “everyday” American; they’ll still make promises they cannot keep; and they’ll continue to get reelected. And the world will go on. The only trouble now is what to do about it — and this is where many people, mostly on the left, get it wrong. Their hearts are in the right place, but it’s all misguided.

They claim we need to limit campaign donations, and, in some cases, make money lobbying illegal; in essence, we need more laws. More laws supposedly equal less money in politics. This is the classic case of: intentions do no equal results. Laws are sometimes ineffective at curbing certain behaviors. That’s just the plain truth of things. The war on drugs has been going on for decades and marijuana use (and abuse of other drugs) is higher than ever before in our history. The drinking age is set at 21, college kids still binge drink. There are certain inevitabilities in life, and someones desires at times cannot be tempered. Not only are drugs and alcohol included, but so is money and greed.

Greed has existed for…well…forever. It’s not as if man kind over the last half century has become more and more greedy. Everybody wants to know “what’s in it for me,” and they always want more of it. This is basic self-interest, and it’s not always bad. So, since our problems cannot be blindly placed on greed, what is the root cause of our issues? Simply put: Power and control.

Think of government as a tool; it’s a tool for control. It regulates most industries. It (sadly enough) plays a significant enough role in the US economy. It’s tentacles are far reaching across the scope of our economy. Some argue this is good, while others will say it’s harmful. That’s not the point. The point is to understand who is partial to this kind of control and who can take advantage of it? The quick and easy answer: those with lots and lots of resources and political connections.

“If you build it they will come.” It’s exactly this quote from the, Field of Dreams, which aptly explains the problem with money in politics. If you give the government the tools for control, the lobbyists will come flocking the same way the baseball greats crawled through the cornfields.

If you’re a multi-million dollar corporation and you see the government has the ability to regulate you and your competitors, who do you think you are going to protect? Yourself. You’d lobby your buddies in DC, and you’d get the rules written in your favor. That’s how it works in government.

Truthfully, money will always be in politics. If laws are written that make it illegal, or certain amounts illegal, it can always be exchanged under the table or in black markets. Don’t believe this can happen? Talk to a drug lord. They’ll tell you differently. Writing more laws to get money out of politics is like telling a bird it can’t fly.

The real answer is not to bang your head against a wall and hope for change. And it’s not about kicking out the guy in office and hoping the other is better. Those who support bigger government and less money in politics are feeding the monster while poking it with a twig. It’s ineffective.

The answer lies in limiting the size and scope of the federal government.

Until this is done, nothing will change. The endless cycle of corruption will dominate our political system. A lot of noise will have been made. But the only thing it will do is give you a headache.